Double Helix

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Mercury Press, 2006 - DNA. - 112 pages
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Double Helix is a new genetic literary hybrid. Using the structure of DNA (which has its own language using paired molecules) as a model, Stephen Cain and Jay MillAr’s new book employs a sequence of speak and respond pieces to read and write their way through the alphabet and discuss everything from literature to the weather.

Living in different cities for a year, the two authors kept their ongoing conversations about poetics, relationships, and culture in the early 21st century alive by writing a collaborative project over email, based on a simple alphabetic constraint.

The result is Double Helix, a series of 52 micro-fictions, in which each writer meditates on a word beginning with a set letter of the alphabet. Molecular strands of concepts, arguments, and narratives twist about each other, yet also match, much like the double helix of human DNA. The final text mixes two lives, two writing styles, and two consciousnesses, that come to resemble a third mind— an act of literary meme-splicing.

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About the author (2006)

Author of three poetry collections, American Standard/Canada Dry (Coach House, 2005), Torontology (ECW, 2001), and dyslexicon (Coach House, 1999), Stephen Cain has been a literary editor at Queen Street Quarterly and is currently a fiction editor at Insomniac Press. Cain's work has been widely anthologized. Cain lives in Toronto.Jay MillAr's full-length books include The Ghosts of Jay MillAr (2000), Mycological Studies (2002), and False Maps for Other Creatures (2005), and many privately published editions. Jay is the proprietor of Apollinaire's Bookshoppe, and also runs BookThug, an independent publishing house specializing in contemporary work. He lives in Toronto with his wife Hazel and their two sons Reid and Cole.

Jay MillAr is a Toronto poet, editor, publisher, teacher, and virtual bookseller. He is the author of ESP: ACCUMULATION SONNETS (2009), LACK LYRICS (2008), the small blue (2007), False Maps for Other Creatures (2005), Mycological Studies (2002), and THE GHOSTS OF JAY MILLAR (2000). In 2006 he published Double Helix, a collaborative "novel" written with Stephen Cain.

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